Social Media Strategy: Creating Engagement, Insight, and Action

Course starts 25 November 2020

Course information

Registration Closes:
17 November 2020
Course Starts:
25 November 2020
6 weeks, excluding orientation
6–8 hours per week, entirely online
USD $2,800
Payment Options
MIT Sloan School of Management


As social media evolves, it provides organizations with new and exciting ways to share their message and engage their audiences. However, to drive real action, they need to understand the science behind social media and the key to harnessing it successfully.

The Social Media Strategy: Creating Engagement, Insight, and Action online short course from the MIT Sloan School of Management offers an in-depth look into the forces driving social media and how you can use them strategically to reach your organization’s goals.

Drawing on Sinan Aral’s book, The Hype Machine, you’ll gain an understanding of the technologies and trends impacting the social media landscape, as well as the neurological and economic factors that shape human behavior. You’ll also learn about a number of powerful techniques to improve your social media strategy. With guidance from industry experts, you’ll walk away with the tools to leverage social media’s potential now and in the future.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • The tools to leverage social media to achieve strategic organizational objectives

  • An understanding of the economic and neurological underpinnings of social media

  • A playbook of tactics to enhance your marketing efforts in a hypersocialized world

  • Valuable insight from renowned social media authority Sinan Aral, as well as a host of influential industry experts

Is this course for you? 

The functional and strategic skills taught in this course can be applied across any organization, both in the public or private sector. Business leaders and marketing professionals will all benefit from the various case studies featured throughout the program, as well as the practical frameworks for navigating today’s social media environment. It’s also relevant for NGOs, governments, policymakers, and influencers who wish to influence and engage their audience in an effective but ethical way.

Course curriculum

Explore the science of social media as you work through the weekly modules of this online short course.

  • Orientation Module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 The Hype Machine: Social media and the brain
  • Module 2 The economics of social media: Leveraging the attention economy
  • Module 3 Under the hood of the Hype Machine: How social media works
  • Module 4 Personalized mass persuasion
  • Module 5 Hypersocialization playbook
  • Module 6 The future of the social media Hype Machine

About the Faculty Director

The design of this online short course is guided by MIT Sloan faculty, as well as industry experts, who will share their experience and in-depth knowledge with you throughout the program.

Sinan Aral

Sinan Aral

David Austin Professor of Management, Marketing, IT and Data Science, MIT; Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy; Founding Partner, Manifest Capital

Sinan Aral is the David Austin Professor of Management at MIT and the author of the upcoming book The Hype Machine, which explores how social media is disrupting our businesses, politics, and public health. He was the chief scientist at SocialAmp, one of the first social commerce analytics companies (until its sale to Merkle in 2012), and at Humin, a social platform that the Wall Street Journal called the first “social operating system” (until its sale to Tinder in 2016). He is currently a founding partner at Manifest Capital and on the advisory board of the Alan Turing Institute, Britain’s national institute for data science, in London. Sinan has worked closely with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Airbnb, Yahoo, Jet.com, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, SAP, and many other leading Fortune 500 firms on realizing business value from big data analytics, social media, and IT investments. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University, holds master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science and Harvard University, and received his PhD from MIT. You can find Sinan on Twitter @sinanaral.

About the certificate

Enhance your social media strategy and earn an official certificate of completion from MIT Sloan.

This program also counts towards an MIT Sloan Executive Certificate, which you can earn upon completion of four programs where at least three of the four come from your chosen certificate track and at least one is completed in person. Find full details here.

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the program, as per the stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 25 November 2020.

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Still have a question? These may help


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.